Plenty of people thought Rich Franklin would absolutely crush Wanderlei Silva in their UFC 147 main event on Saturday night.
I'll throw myself in that group. I figured it would be a strong moral victory if Silva and his ailing chin survived the first two rounds.
Not only did Silva survive the first two rounds, he nearly finished Franklin in the second with a late-round barrage of old-school "Axe Murderer" flurries. And though he'd come out on the losing side for the seventh time in his last UFC fights, it doesn't really matter.
Silva proved he can still hang in the UFC. Maybe not with the best of the best, but at least with some of the better competition that middleweight has to offer.
Wanderlei almost won that fight. It is tough to say. He used to be my arch nemesis over at Pride. But since he came to the UFC, he has been great, acting like he has been in the UFC for a long time. He has been honest and great and he is going to be with the UFC for a long time, whether he is fighting or not.
It's good to hear that Silva will eventually get the Liddell treatment. No, I'm not talking about the part where Dana calls him up and forces him to retire. I'm talking about the idea that he'll get a cushy no-show job with the UFC after his career is done, and he'll be able to continue drawing a paycheck for the rest of his life.
But knowing Silva, he'll probably show up at the Zuffa offices over on Sahara each and every day.